Showing posts from September, 2011

For Archie...

Archie who lived opposite us has died.  Ada his wife had not been well for ages and after repeated ambulance calls to help her she went into a home a couple of months back.  Archie was left on his own, going to visit her most days.  He insisted on going to get his daily paper, the shop is next door but one, but in the snow last winter.  My wife dug out his path for him one day. Sadly in his 90s he passed on quickly after being found to have colon cancer. One touching thing... he and Ada had just celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary!!  They had been a couple since they were both 13 - amazing 80 years as a couple! How beautiful and touching...  I hope Ada doesn't miss him too much.  And we'll have some new neighbours - that is a big thing around here, we've been here nearly 20 years and still considered the "new couple" :-) RIP Archie

2 days into the new job...

... and I have more questions than answers unsurprisingly.  Bizarrely I'm also attending a public launch event of an application that has gone "public" that I'm now the "service owner" of which I didn't know what it's acronym stood for 48 hours ago.  Best I keep schtum in front of the media and others and just get introduced to all the right people. One of the funniest things so far is that everytime I venture out of the office onto the street I seem to get asked where something is by one of the newly enrolled students but I'm as lost on the campus as they are... if not more so if my experience yesterday is any guide.  My boss walked with me from point A to point B, I was asking a load of questions of him so didn't take as much notice as I should have anyway... I leave point B with another colleague and head to point C.  Now from point C I needed to get back to point A... simple I thought I knew the direction etc and I exit the door and tur

At last a new song

It has been a while with work and all that... so whilst on the week's break between jobs I've finally recorded a new song - Round and Round. It can be listened to at Comments as ever welcomed.

If we really wanted to save the planet...

On the drive back from Wales yesterday a couple of things struck me... again whilst I was cruising along the M40 at 70mph a Prius with a bike rack on it came thundering past me.  I'm lost if you buy a Prius aren't you saying "I care about the planet"... but then you flog a 1.4l engine to death over 80mph and even better stick your I'm-so-green mountain bike on the back to act like the air brake on an old Russian freighter!  Bonkers. My new car - is a lot like the old one... I like the Peugeot 407 SW we'd had for 4 years that when I saw a "brand new" one for sale as a 2nd hand one at a knock down price I snapped it up.  Now previously the 50mpg performance of the old one had impressed me, it is a large estate car after all.  Well don't know what they have done in the intervening 4 years but the new one manages as near as damn it 60mpg!  In fact the bit between Newtown to Shrewsbury which is all twisty A roads I managed to get 75mpg - why'd y

Here we go again...

Whitesnake?   No that was Here I Go Again... Anyhows...   Last day at work today.  "Hang on" say long term regular reader(s) "thought this had all happened before".  Indeed, last year 7th July, after 19 years and 1 week I left my old job.  After a period as a successful professional musician (i.e. unemployed) I got back into work in Feb this year for a small consultancy an old colleague is now a director of.  I've actually liked the company and the people in the most part but as again the regular reader(s) out there will know I hated the being away from home or massively stupid commutes.   The company was really nice and at the point where I was saying "this just isn't really for me" an assignment came up at my old firm which I've been on for the last 5 months. Now the really sad bit is in Feb this year the company I used to work for decided to close the site with 1000s of jobs being lost.  In it heyday back in the early 2000s you would st

Musicians have better hearing

Interesting article from the BBC about hearing issues. However the problem they particularly talk about the "cocktail party problem" is one I suffer with badly...  not that I ever go to cocktail parties ;-) The problem is the inability to pick out speech against the hubbub of background noise.  I really struggle with that - my wife knows it and will sometimes aid me by repeating salient parts of the conversation to me - I'm better one to one but I know that I look at people lips... am I just lip reading? However to be fair - I'm clearly not a professional musician :-) So maybe I'm outside the influence of this research... I'm not someone who has "never played" and instrument or a professional musician. I did some years back start wearing earplugs to most concerts - but I've dropped off that a bit, largely as we seem to go to larger venues now, esp The O2 at Greenwich and I find the levels generally less and cause me less short term issues

This is 2011 isn't it?

I read with amazement this story from the BBC . Amazing.  This is 2011 and people are still treated like this in this country.  I feel ashamed it is going on - now I moan about the cost of shopping as much as anyone but somewhere along the line someone thinks that having slaves (let us not beat about the bush here) is the way to reduce cost and increase profit.  I blogged about a BBC play on the topic of child  trafficking  but to then find that this is happening with adults as well does frankly leave me speechless.  People wonder at what is happening to our society - well this is, this is like Dickensian England not the 21st Century. There is an interesting point - it states in the report that the victims were "  "recruited" from soup kitchens and benefits offices and included people with problems such as alcoholism."  Indeed recruit from the bottom from those vulnerable and falling out of society, for whom no-one appears to care or will notice that they have g


Where were you 10 years ago today? Everyone can remember can't they?  Well I can I was in NYC itself, luckily mid-town not down-town but a day I will obviously never forget. Being told of the first "accident" - then the second, realising instantly it was no "accident".  Watching the towers fall. The noise, the sirens, the panic.  The smell and the taste of that awful dust - the taste of death - I still can vividly recall that. The vacant lost expressions on peoples faces.  The kind help we got from some people, our panic, being cut off apart from my family and fearing how long it may be until we were back together. The getting out of NYC on the Friday - the wedding in CT we somehow ended up being part of.  Some great friends/colleagues being there to help and just talk to us.  The flight home - were we really getting home or not? The relief once we were airborne, then out of the USA, then half way - then at Heathrow.  The onlookers looks as we all stood

Tough first match - just enough

Flipping heck!!  There was more than one moment where I thought we were going to end up losing that, anyway finally England emerge victorious from their open Rugby World Cup game. Argentina were really up for - as ever against us.  They came out and gave us no time - but then we weren't helping ourselves with the penalties we gave away.  Both teams kicking was poor - have you ever seen Jonny miss so many and by so much at times - I wonder if it being a closed stadium had something to do with that?  Don't know. But at last Youngs on and we had a bit more pace and passion and a try came and that was it. Right so still in with a chance - but boy we need to play better than that.

Everybody has it better than me...

that is the stupid thought in my head at the moment.  I seem to keep bumping into people who are "giving up the rat race" starting new business turning their hobbies into their jobs, going on fantastic holidays etc. etc. It is interesting to note that also this week I've spoken with someone going through a breakup of a relationship, starting a new job, having some major health issues, having problems with elderly parents, having to move in 3 weeks to a new job miles away and uproot their family.... So I hear both but only focus on the one... bad news. Had a very disturbing dream last night.  So much I've emailed the guy who I smacked around the head in the dream to apologise.  He'll think I'm mad no doubt but I had to get it out there rather than keep it in. Right... now I've dumped that I'm off to hopefully get some better positivity.

Knights and castles...

Spent Saturday in Rochester at the Medieval Merriment day at the castle. It wasn't too bad, a set of craft stalls with some vague medieval link and a bunch of recreationalists (is that was you call them) re-enacting life in medieval England.  The focus being on the famous siege of Rochester in 1215 when the revolting barons took control of the castle from King John in the long dispute that lead to the Magna Carta and all that.  Actually that siege has been recently portrayed in the very bloody film Ironclad, questionable historically etc. but based on the truth of the siege  Anyway a good day out in the sun. Sunday I went to Ikea for the first time in my life.  Another debate in the house due to my claiming my kids were dragging me into the middle classes - I will always consider myself working class as to me it about attitude and what you are for or against in the world they think it to do with job, wealth, salary etc.  Anyway doesn't really matter.  What a place!  We we

not much to say...

Back in work and counting the days now until I leave and start the new job. Have been to a couple of really good meetings this week - the sharing was just what I needed and focused me back onto my sobriety - I'd not noticed I'd been letting it slip but then that is what this decease does to you it creeps up on you nudging your apathy, complacency etc. along until you suddenly are back in the throws of it without realising.  That is why I go to meetings regularly, a word, a phrase, a story from someone else jolts me back to realising that I was beginning to say this, do that, think the other... and all potentially bad if left unchecked. So grateful to be still a recovering alcoholic today. September - soon the rest of the family will be returning to normal routine, Mrs F and Daughter-of-Furtheron will soon be back at school, I'll drop my son back to Wales for the new year and then it'll be my birthday! :-) Anyway into the last straight of the year and this one ha